The strange fish was nearly three meters long and had no scales to be seen. (Octavian Lacatusu/Oak Bay News)

UPDATED: Rare ‘king-of-the-salmon’ washes up on Oak Bay beach

The rare type of ribbonfish was found by a man walking his dog on Rattenbury Beach.

A strange sea creature that washed up on Oak Bay’s Rattenbury Beach late Thursday morning has been identified as a very rare king-of-the-salmon, according to a local biologist.

The unique name of the king-of-the-salmon originates from Makah First Nation legend, in which the fish (Trachiptreus altivelis) was believed to be the “king” that would lead salmon back to their rivers to spawn, noted Jackie Hildering, a biologist and marine educator, who goes by the handle of The Marine Detective on her blog.

The strange-looking fish, at more than two metres long, was found deceased beside the water by a man who was walking on the beach with his dog.

“I was just walking along with my dog and saw this bright shining fish here, and I never saw anything like it, so I was interested,” Ben Baker, who found the creature, told Oak Bay News. “I have no idea what it could be, maybe an oarfish, but who knows.”

Another video, posted on Facebook an hour prior by Peter Rowand, showed the fish was already in trouble as it floated aimlessly closer and closer to shore.

Unsurprisingly, king-of-the-salmon belong to the ribbonfish family, (Trachipteridae) are extremely thin and reach lengths longer than two metres. The long and high crimson-coloured dorsal fin is also very reminiscent of a ribbon, tapering down the full length of the fish’s back. These fish move in a snake-like fashion, undulating their long bodies.

As adult king-of-the-salmon feed in the open ocean at depths of 900 metres or more (3,000 ft) they very rarely make an appearance ashore, Hildering said.

In Makah culture, killing one would bring bad luck, causing the death of the salmon.

For more info on this fascinating fish, check out themarinedetective.com.

octavian.lacatusu@oakbaynews.com

 

Ben Baker taking a closer look at his strange discovery. (Octavian Lacatusu/Oak Bay News)

A massive eye was clear and intact, bearing no resemblance to any other fish seen recently. (Octavian Lacatusu/Oak Bay News)

The strange fish was more than two meters long and had nearly no fins whatsoever. (Octavian Lacatusu/Oak Bay News)

Just Posted

Bungy jump naked in support of mental health programs

Registration open for annual fundraiser for BC Schizophrenia Society

Victoria parking fees bring in more than $17 million every year

Parking fees make up seven per cent of the city’s annual revenue

Search for modular housing in Saanich continues

Municipality says it remains committed to search for suitable piece of land to house homeless

Victoria Police looking for rightful owner of abandoned toolbox

VicPD found a toolbox full of tools on the side of a downtown Victoria street

Town clock back on the Ave. in Oak Bay

A computer failure discovered after daylight savings in Nov. sent the clock in for upgrades

Black Press readers share photos of their favourite critters on #LoveYourPetDay

Greater Victoria is raining cats and dogs…and snails and goats

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

B.C. Speaker Darryl Plecas resumes battle with suspended staff

Committee meets at B.C. legislature to consider new allegations

Broken axle north BC derailment could happen again: TSB

CN coal train derailment caused by a broken axle can happen again without a different way to inspect

Former B.C. fire chief sues his city after termination

Keith Green’s civil claim says that he believes he was wrongfully terminated

B.C. man in wheelchair following police shooting

“Shots were fired by police and the Kelowna man was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.”

Peter Tork, Monkees’ lovable bass-guitar player, dies at 77

Tork, Micky Dolenz, David Jones and Michael Nesmith formed the made-for-television rock band

From a drunk judge to Clifford Olson: George Garrett recounts a life in B.C. news radio

New book from ‘Intrepid Reporter’ George Garrett offers readers a glimpse behind the headlines

Wife remembers B.C. man killed in possible case of mistaken identity

Rex Gill was in Kamloops working to support his family after oilfield job dried up

Most Read